I recently visited a temple where there the usual pushing, pulling, groping(some people never pass on an opportunity), punching, poking-your-eye-you get the point, basically anything that gets them a spot before you to bow their heads down to a deity probably praying for world peace, was replaced with a sense of calm and patience. Everyone waited patiently for their turn-a concept lost in India- and for the incorrigible devotees who just had to elbow their way into the queue, they let them with no hard feelings. It was such a sweet once-in-a-lifetime-if-you-stay-in-India experience.
We are always in a hurry, be it boarding a bus or a train, it’s taken as a challenge and to win we must get rid of our basic human qualities that hold us back. Guilt, concern, sympathy to competitors are evils waging a war against time. Once while boarding a flight to Dubai, I remember my granddad jumping off his seat in the waiting area and running with his bag while yelling out my name to join him, after the flight was announced. As much as I tried to convince him that, there would be ample time for boarding to begin and that there was no possibility of ‘losing’ our seats because someone got there ahead of us, he seemed adamant and we stood like idiots with our huge over-sized bags overfilling with many many useless things that we would never use but had a sentimental value and just couldn’t leave it behind(remind you of someone?), waiting for about 20 minutes, till they started the boarding procedure. I heard somewhere that no matter how smart you think yourself to be, you can never convince a stupid about his stupidity. Not that my granddad is stupid or anything…anyways.
Ever since we were in our diapers, we are taught to be first. “Remember the man who walked on the moon with Neil Armstrong? No? See, that’s why it’s either first or nothing” To excel, to succeed, to be better than everyone else-those were the goals in every to-do list. We got so lost in being unique that we became just like everyone else in that thought and lost our originality in doing so.
I am guilty of all this, I used to be a student who felt life was always about the top grades and that there was no thing such as ‘doing your best’ unless you actually came out beating everyone else in whatever the task given. I learnt my lesson, in the race to get there first I missed out so many refreshments served at the checkpoints.
Time is precious, true. You will never get it back, once its gone, but this is applicable to a number of things. A day ‘wasted’ in one view is always spent wisely at another point of view. I honestly haven’t seen any healthy competition anywhere, and so naturally I don’t believe it exists. If you have experienced it, you are lucky. It’s alright to be second, or third, or even the last person to cross the finish line. No one actually roots for a person who secures the first spot who did so after trampling on the other participants but everyone will remember the person who was kind enough to pause for a good deed even if he ended up losing his spot. Here’s a tribute to all the Buzz Aldrins out there. You may or may not get there first, but atleast make sure you enjoy the journey instead of rushing and losing out on things that are more valuable than time.